President Rivlin meets Prime Minister Modi of India
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Rivlin: “We have growing cooperation- This is a partnership which is making a difference for Israelis and Indians in many important areas of our lives.”
PM Modi: “Your visit will provide crucial push to our efforts to build new pillars in our partnership. We are both committed to advance our engagement on several fronts, build on convergences and commonalities in our interests and concerns on regional and global issues.”
President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Tuesday) held a working meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi. The two spoke at length about the growing cooperation and partnership between the two countries, and on the wide range of areas in which Israelis and Indians were working together including, development of water technologies, agriculture, innovation and research.
After the meeting, Israel’s Ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon, was joined by senior Indian officials to exchange cooperation agreements; the first an MOU on water resources management and development cooperation, and the second a declaration of intent on cooperation in the field of agriculture.
In his remarks, President Rivlin thanked Prime Minister Modi for the warm welcome and said, “Mr. Prime Minister, Israel and India have changed history before, and it is time we do it again. We have growing cooperation; in agriculture, in water, in solar power, in all of what you call the four-colored revolution, and many more areas as well. As we mark 25 years of our diplomatic relations, this is not just a partnership that we talk about. This is a partnership which is making a difference for Israelis and Indians in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in the technology we use, and many important areas of our lives.”
He continued, “Prime Minister, you have called on the world, to ‘Make in India’. I am here to say: Israel is ready to answer this call. Israel is ready to Make in India, and Make with India. Israel is very proud of its innovation. We are proud of our ability, to make ideas into reality, to make dreams come true. While I am here in your wonderful country, I look forward to seeing with my own eyes how Israeli innovation and India’s industrial power are working together. It is a source of great pride, and our best hope for the future.”
President Rivlin noted, “On my visit I will also pay my respects at the site of terror attacks, which claimed the lives of both our peoples. Israel and India are threatened by terror, because we uphold the values of freedom. Mr. Prime Minister, we share your desire for peace and security. Nothing can justify terror. Terror is terror is terror. We stand together, with the whole free world in defending our peoples, and our values.”
He concluded, “I have no doubt that my visit here, will help the ties and the cooperation between our two peoples grow stronger: in security, and our ability to keep our people safe, in agriculture, in water, in technology, in culture and education. At the same time, I want to take this chance to repeat our invitation for you to visit Israel, It will be our privilege and great honor to welcome you in Jerusalem. We have so much to share, it is our duty to face the future together.”
Prime Minister Modi thanked the President for his visit and said, “I am honored to welcome President Reuven Rivlin, and distinguished members of his delegation to India. President Rivlin is on his first ever visit to India. We are delighted to receive him on this special occasion. Excellency, your visit will provide crucial push to our efforts to build new pillars in our partnership. It will also carry forward the momentum generated by the first ever visit of President of India to Israel last year. Next year, both countries will be celebrating 25 years of the establishment of full diplomatic relations. As we approach this big milestone, we are both committed to advance our engagement on several fronts. And, build on convergences and commonalities in our interests and concerns on regional and global issues. Our engagement is multi-dimensional and wide-ranging. We are partnering in: enhancing agricultural productivity and efficiency; boosting research and innovation linkages; employing applications of science and technology for the benefit of our societies; forging strong trade links and investment ties; building defense ties to secure our people; and enhancing people to people ties through greater cultural and tourism linkages; promoting educational exchanges. The growing number of Indian students, going to study in Israel and vice versa can be an important bridge in our bilateral partnership.”
He added, “Earlier today, in our discussions, President Rivlin and I agreed that there are several strong areas of ongoing cooperation between our countries. We are familiar with Israel’s advances in agriculture, and its expertise in micro-irrigation in drought-prone areas and water management. We have identified water management and conservation, and collaboration in scientific research and development as two areas of priority engagement. We both agreed that the current trajectory of the Indian economy opens up many promising opportunities for Israeli companies. Our economic initiatives and programs, and emphasis on innovation, research and technological development match well with Israel’s strengths and capacities. Israeli companies can scale up their tie-ups with our flagship schemes of Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, and Smart Cities. I would encourage the private sector stakeholders on both sides to take lead in utilizing this perfect opportunity to build business ties of commerce and investment between our two countries in these areas. Indian and Israeli companies can also work together in high-technology manufacturing, and services sectors. Make in India and as President Rivlin told me in our discussion, Make with India can generate jobs and benefit both geographies. Our partnership can generate jobs and benefit both geographies.
“President Rivlin and I deeply value our strong and growing partnership to secure our societies. Our people are constantly threatened by forces of terrorism and extremism. We recognize that terrorism is a global challenge, knows no boundaries and has extensive links with other forms of organized crime. Regrettably, one of the countries of its origin and spread is in India’s neighborhood. We agreed that the international community must act with resolve and determination against terror networks and States that harbor them. Failure to act and silence of speech only encourages the terrorists. We agreed to intensify our cooperation to combat the forces of extremism and radicalization that threaten all peace-loving nations. We also prioritized practical and specific engagement such as in the cyber domain. We noted the strength of our growing defense partnership. And, agreed on the need to make it more broad-based through production and manufacturing partnerships. India is also grateful to Israel for its clear support to India’s permanent candidature in a reformed UN Security Council.”
He concluded, “As fellow democracies, our people are our biggest strength and the biggest beneficiaries of a strong India-Israel partnership. The 2000-year old Jewish community in India represents a thriving link to this past. Today, it is a vital part of our composite cultural mosaic that continues to thrive in their traditions. We are proud of the Jewish community in India. Two and a half decades of our friendship has brought rich dividends for both our nations. It has also strengthened voices of peace, stability and democracy globally. Your visit provides an opportunity to break new ground and shape new contours of our partnership.”
President Rivlin went on to hold a series of meetings with other key officials. This evening, the President and First Lady will attend a state dinner in honor of their visit.